Tommy Macho Speeds to 4th Graded Victory

01.27.2018 -

Paul Pompa Jr.'s Tommy Macho powered to the front around the far turn and fended off the game Conquest Big E to snap earn his fourth graded victory in the $175,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park.

Watch the Fred W. Hooper Stakes

Tommy Macho was the 2-1 favorite in his season debut for trainer Todd Pletcher. Unraced since running fourth in the Sept. 23 Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park,  it was the sixth victory and third at Gulfstream for the 6-year-old Macho Uno horse, who won the Hooper in 2016 and took the Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) in January of 2017. His first graded victory came in the 2015 Discovery Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct.

Moves Like Ali was fastest from the gate and took the field through a quarter-mile in :24.09 and a half in :46.57, as jockey Luis Saez had Tommy Macho poised to strike in the clear three wide. As three-quarters went in 1:10.79, the eventual winner surged to the lead approaching the stretch. He was followed by 15-1 Conquest Big E, who chased down the lane as they separated from their rivals, but was unable to get by.

"That stretch run was really impressive," Saez said. "He was really ready for this race today. He broke well, we got a perfect position, and when we hit the stretch, he just took off." 

Tommy Macho ran the mile in 1:36.10 over a fast main track to win by three-quarters of a length over Conquest Big E. Bred by John Liviakis, he's raced most of his career in the colors of Paul P. Pompa, Jr. Tommy Macho's career bankroll now stands at $888,320.

"He's a cool horse," Pletcher said. "I give the horse a lot of credit. He loves Gulfstream. He loves the one-turn mile. He's been awfully good to us. We'll probably skip the (Feb. 24 Hal's Hope) and go to the race on March 31 (the grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile)."

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